Coronavirus: Smile! London, Ont. photographer offering ‘porch portraits’ to those self-isolating

Shauna Culhane wouldn’t normally stand 10 or more feet away from the people she’s photographing, but these aren’t normal times.

With the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 increasing every day, it’s a necessity, especially as the government orders people to self-isolate and stay apart physically, and workplaces to close unless essential.

As it has for many workers, the pandemic and its social and economic effects have been hard on London-area photographers who have seen bookings either cancelled or postponed.

Enter ‘Porch Portraits.’

The photographic initiative, spearheaded by Massachusetts photographer Cara Soulia, is as simple as it sounds: a portrait of you and your family, all from the safety of your front porch.

Culhane, who operates Lace&Lavender Photography in London, said she learned of Soulia’s endeavor through a friend.

“I hummed and hawed and decided, yeah, I need to do this,” Culhane told 980 CFPL’s Mike Stubbs on Thursday.

“I need a little joy in my own life, and I think a lot of people in our community could use joy.”

After putting a call out on her Facebook and Instagram, Culhane said 35 families reached out to her saying they wanted their own porch portraits. Thirty-two ended up having their pictures taken, after the province’s state of emergency declaration forced her to reschedule the planned sessions from Mar. 20 to Mar. 24.

Culhane says the sessions are free of charge.

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“No money, no contact, just love,” reads a post on the Lace&Lavender Facebook page. “All I ask is you make a donation to London’s Food Bank.”

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